Mommy, where do books come from?

Posted May 9 2011, 9:25 am in

Easy.  Ideas.

But where do the ideas come from?

Pretty much anywhere.  People watching.  Bits and pieces of overheard conversations.  Hell.  I wrote an entire book based on one line in the song Yours to Hold by Skillet.

Take TOUCH, for example.  It was born at the back of a very long line at the Dunkin Donuts drive through.  I can even go one further.  It was April 29th, just a little after 10 a.m.  Dez and Kale took their first steps on May 1st at the start of Savvy Author’s first Boot Camp.

You remember the time and date?  Yeah.  You’re either Fruit Loops or overly sentimental.

Duh!?  I’m both.  First off, I’m having a conversation with myself here.  That’s Fruit Loops by most definitions.  And second, TOUCH is my baby.  Of course I remember when it was born.  I’m the girl who refuses to replace her unreliable cordless with a working phone because she doesn’t want to lose the stuff on the caller ID (some of which is over six years old).

Yeah.  So, um, the idea?

We live in a very woodsy area (thank God because Oswald the bear would not do well in the city).  I’m sitting there waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting–the car at the window is ordering enough crap to feed France, apparently.  I look past the building and into the woods and get this picture in my head.

A random picture?  Does that happen often? ….Do you hear voices?

Duh again.  Writer, remember?  We all see things and hear voices.  They tell us to do things.  Freaky things.  Some for the sake of research…some for no logical reason at all.  I mean, I’m not the only one who went bungee jumping for research purposes because the voices commanded it?  Am I?

Am I?!?!?

So, anyway, this girl–she’s being chased through the forest.  She’s wearing a plain white t-shirt, ratty sweatpants, and no shoes.  The cool thing about it, is as she’s running, the ground beneath her feet is dying.  Shriveling up and turning to dust.  Each branch that whips across her face, each tree she trips into, all dead at her touch.

Kale is definitely not a girl…

Nope.  But the original first chapter was written with Dez and Kale’s roles reversed.  Why change it?  Honestly, when I start a new book, I usually write the first chapter a few different ways and go with whatever sticks.  As soon as Dez jumped off that barn roof, I knew I’d found perfection.  Side note, that entire first scene comes from an afternoon in the car and a radio station that played Lady Gaga’s Poker Face.  Five.  Times. In. Two. Hours.

So lets have it.  Where do your ideas come from?  What sparked the plot for your latest WIP or newest release?  Is your brain a random idea generator like mine (Oh!  Look–a horse.  I wonder what he’d say if he could talk.  And was purple…) or are you inspired by specific things? (double rainbows, sunsets, kittens, and puppies on skateboards)

 

8 Comments

Comments

8 responses to “Mommy, where do books come from?”

  1. I get ideas from everywhere: songs on the radio, TV (got my latest wip idea while watching PHINEAS & FERB with my kid) and sometimes just from a title. I had the title for my novel COUCH WORLD before I even knew what the story was! 😀

    • Jus Accardo says:

      Nice! I envy you the title thing. That’s the hardest part for me. And PS – I love PHINEAS & FERB (No kids here–we’re just cartoon junkies 😀 )

  2. I’m your basic idea generator as well. Sometimes it’s just a story concept – a mercenary starfighter unit, or a western with wizards and no gun powder. Some stories are written just to clean out head space. Sometimes I base a story around a good plot twist, or a joke.

    • Jus Accardo says:

      I love hearing about other people like me. I’ve got hardly any room in my head because of all the bits and plot pieces floating around. Thanks for stopping by 😀

  3. Brooke Moss says:

    People get freaked out because I ask them odd, personal questions like, “What was your best kiss?” or “When did you know you were in love?”…and we’re not talking about my friends I’ve known for years. These are the questions I ask the first time I meet people. I tend to take real life stories of how people felll in love, etc, and build stories around them. Simple details like “We are beef jerky at a little league game” are enough for me to build an entire story on. But then again, I write contemporary, so my job is to find the romance in simple, mundane situations, then multiply it.

    My inspiration for my book coming out in Aug came from a conversation I was having with a friend who insisted that she didn’t have a “what if guy”. I called BS. Every woman has one, even if it’s a “Whew!” moment, she’s got one. I had a scene in my head where a woman sees her what if guy while looking terrible and very unhappy, etc, and she gets nervous and clocks him in the face with a book. The story grew from there. Before I knew it, it was abook about alcoholism, single motherhood, reunited friends, etc etc etc….

    • Jus Accardo says:

      OMG. That’s awesome! I did that once. It didn’t work out so well for me. It involved a hospital doctor, a call to the cops, and a very long winded explanation… 😀

  4. Rfirasek says:

    Oh, I’d say I’m definitely falling in the random category. My ideas can come from a drip of water leaking from a sink facet. My husband believes that I’m an alien and my kids are in agreement. It’s not uncommon for me to be asked what rock I slithered from. Definitely not human here. I can take a fight along an interstate and turn it into a lusty menage, or a dream of singing angel can become my next idea for a ya. I’m all over the place, but I like to let the stories take me where they will. I love that I’m not alone!

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